Wine Headache? Chances Are It’s Not the Sulfites


THE LATE SENATOR Strom Thurmond was famous—some might say infamous—for a good many things, including a marathon filibuster against the Civil Rights Act,

but the South Carolina congressman’s most lasting contribution may be the two words found on every bottle of wine sold in this country: Contains Sulfites.

The fiercely anti-alcohol senator successfully lobbied for this particular warning to be part of the 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Act, a continuation of the so-called War on Drugs. Never mind that the average bottle of Cabernet contains far fewer sulfites than, say, a can of tuna or a bag of dried fruit, products that carry no warning at all. (A glass of wine contains roughly 10 mg of sulfites; two ounces of dried apricots, 112 mg.)


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